Tips & Tricks 1: Yardage

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Have you ever looked at a pattern, wanted to work it in a different yarn from the one suggested and then see that the yarn requirements are listed as number of skeins or the weight of a particular yarn? How do you make sure that you have enough of the yarn you want to use? I’m going to answer those questions in this first of my tips & tricks posts.

Are you a new designer trying to figure out how many yards of yarn you used in a pattern so you can put your most accurate information into your pattern?

How do you determine the yardage? What can you do to figure that out? Well, I’m going to give you the method, but I am also going to provide you with some charts to help you out! I have Red Heart Super Saver in this post, but the others will be in upcoming posts and I will link them here.

Yardage

When I want to determine how many yards per ounce a particular yarn has, I start by looking at the yarn label. I locate the weight of the skein and then locate the yardage of the total skein. From those numbers, I can determine the number of yards per ounce for any yarn (this can also be done with grams and meters if you are metric).

The quick explanation on how to determine yardage per ounce (or whichever measurements you want to use) is to take the total yardage of the skein and divide it by the number of ounces. I’ll use Red Heart Super Saver for an example.

Super Saver has a couple different weight skeins. The solid color skeins have 7 ounces and 364 yards so here is how I figure out the yards per ounce.

Here is the formula:

Total yards ÷ total weight (in ounces) = yards per ounce

And here is the equation with the Super Saver Solid information plugged in:

364 ÷ 7 = 52

For easy reference, I’ve included a couple charts for Red Heart Super Saver to get you started and to use as a reference.

RHSS Quick Ref

 

So now that you know how to figure out how many yards per ounce are in a skein, let’s look at yardage used for a project. The most accurate measurement is to weigh your final project and then figure out your yardage from that measurement. When you have your project weight in ounces and the number of yards per ounce, then you can easily get to your total yardage.

To weigh my project, I use a scale like this one.

But I am going to be getting one like this soon.

As an example, I am going to use the Red Heart Super Saver again.

Red Heart Super Saver Yarn

I’m going to say that the final project used 26.7 ounces of Red Heart Super Saver in one of the solid colorways. So here is the equation in words:

Project weight in ounces × yardage for 1 ounce = total project yardage

and with the numbers plugged in:

26.7 × 52 = 1,388.4

So for this project, I would round it up and say that 1,389 yards were used. Then if this was being put into a pattern, I would probably make it 1,400 yards due to varying tension and length of ends when changing skeins.

So that is how you figure out total yardage. I can do another post on figuring out how much of each color is used on a multi-color project in a future tips & tricks post if that is something that will interest y’all. Let me know!

Now if you are wanting to figure out how much yarn to get when the necessary amount of yarn for a pattern is listed in number of skeins then you can easily do that with some basic information from the labels again or by looking up the yarn on the internet. Find out the total yardage of the skein and the weight class. This will let you know how much to get and whether the yarn you want to use will work for the pattern. To determine number of yards required, take the number of skeins and multiply it by the yardage of a single skein. For the weight class, you need to see if what you want to use is the same weight. If it is, then you can get the amount you need based on number of yards from multiplying the skeins and yardage. This is also why gauge is really important.

Did you find this information useful and did it help you? I hope so. If you have any questions or something wasn’t clear, please let me know in the comments and I will get an answer for you. Stayed tuned for more tips & tricks to come. I have one coming up on how I create my crochet graphs for those designs probably sometime next week. I hand plot each design and wanted to show all of you how you can create your own graphs as well.

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Comments

  1. Great information – thank you! I look forward to future posts!!!

  2. Barbara Ann Berry says:

    Hi Leah,
    Would this work as well to figure out grams per ball of yarn? If so what would the number be to figure this out? I am from Canada and they tend to use grams more than ounces. Thanks in advance. Barbara Ann

  3. Thanks Leah, this is awesome information.

  4. I would be interested in how to determine the yardage used for different colors. Thank you so much for this!

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